Case Study

Growth Mindset Leads To Digital Development At Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust

Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes

Client: Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust

Core Vendors: Microsoft Education

Project Date: June 2023 – June 2024

Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust (LAAT) is a multi-academy trust that operates in Lincolnshire in the East Midlands. The trust was established in 2013 by the Diocese of Lincoln to support and enhance the education of children and young people in its schools. The trust currently has 21 schools, ranging from small rural primaries to larger secondaries, serving over 4,400 pupils across the county. The trust's vision is to serve its communities through excellence, exploration, and encouragement through the love of God.

In January 2022, LAAT began their partnership with Computeam as a managed service provider. Here at Computeam, however, we believe in managed service with a difference. As such, LAAT began its Digital Transformation and Training journey to both enhance its IT infrastructure and services and improve the confidence and digital literacy of its staff and pupils.

The Challenge

To streamline and modernise the digital communication and data-sharing practices across a multi-academy trust.

Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust (LAAT) had embarked on a major investment in its digital infrastructure, aiming to provide staff and pupils with reliable and up-to-date devices. However, they faced some common challenges that many schools encounter when trying to integrate technology into teaching and learning. 

With a busy and diverse staff, they struggled to find time and resources to train them on how to use the new tools effectively. They also had difficulties with managing and accessing files across different platforms and locations, which hindered collaboration and efficiency. LAAT needed a comprehensive and user-friendly solution that would enable them to communicate and share data seamlessly across the trust, while also enhancing the quality of education and reducing workload.

The Solution

A trust-wide domain using Microsoft for Education

To ensure a consistent and efficient IT provision across the 21 schools in the trust, a trust-wide domain using Microsoft for Education was implemented. This enabled over 5000 users including staff, pupils and governors to access a range of cloud-based services, such as OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams, from any device and location. The trust-wide domain also facilitated the management and security of the IT infrastructure, as well as the collaboration and communication among staff and students.

All staff received specific live training on how to use the Microsoft cloud services in a standardised way – demonstrating and modelling best practice usage of the software.

The training was delivered by the education technology experts in our Computeam Education and Training team; made up of former educators with first-hand experience of leading digital transformation in schools across the UK.

The training covered how to share data through OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams, and how to be more efficient and environmentally friendly by using collaborative cloud files rather than sending email attachments. The training also covered how to communicate more effectively using Teams Chat and Channel posts, which allow for instant messaging, group discussions and file sharing within the platform.

The trust-wide domain and the training sessions helped the staff to improve their digital skills and productivity, as well as to foster a culture of collaboration and innovation across the trust. The Microsoft for Education platform provided the staff and students with a versatile and secure digital environment that supported their teaching and learning needs.

The Result

An easy-to-use but feature-rich digital cloud platform

The training programme delivered by Computeam was tailored to the specific needs of each school while being measured by objective data and staff feedback. The trust-wide domain and the training sessions helped the staff to improve their digital skills and productivity, as well as to create a culture of collaboration and innovation across the trust.

The Microsoft for Education platform provided the staff and students with a versatile and secure digital environment that supported their teaching and learning needs:

  • A 133% increase in the usage of Microsoft Teams to communicate among staff, enhancing their teamwork and efficiency.
  • An improvement in staff self-reported confidence to use Microsoft collaborative technology, with over 80% of teaching staff describing themselves as ‘confident’ to use Teams in their role.
  • A significant boost in the digital literacy of the schools that received bespoke support based on staff voice data, such as Ulceby St Nicholas CoE Primary school, which saw a 29% increase in self-reported staff confidence scores in six months.
  • A high level of satisfaction and engagement from support and admin staff, who rated their self-confidence at 94.5% by the end of the training period at Harrowby CofE Primary.
  • A 10% upward trend in file sharing through collaborative links rather than duplicated attachments, and a 12% rise in staff working on the same documents, rather than duplicating workload, as shown by the adoption score reporting features in the Microsoft Admin Centre.

These results demonstrate the positive impact of the training programme on the trust's digital transformation and the staff's professional development.

Client Statement

"Computeam has been instrumental in bringing to life our Digital Education Strategy, not only in the pre-cursor work on our Trust IT infrastructure via a cloud transformation, but advice and guidance around the device strategy to ensure success. 

Alongside this, their educational knowledge and expertise have been hugely beneficial, in the process of implementing a whole-trust training programme for Microsoft, OneDrive and SharePoint to ensure all colleagues in our schools are skilled and confident users. We have found our regular meetings very productive, and these have driven the work, helping us to make good progress with our overall Digital Strategy."

Tamara Allen, Deputy CEO of LAAT

Vicky Matthews , Educational Development Advisor for the Trust, attended a training session on digital data and communication as part of the programme, immediately following the training session she said, 

"Following the training, I will definitely use chat more than email and will encourage the Heads I work with to do the same. After a full day of delivering training or supporting a school in my role, my email inbox can be very overwhelming to keep up with and greatly affects my work/life balance."

Following the end of the project year, we asked Vicky again about the changes she had seen in her role.

"I am able to manage my inbox much better now without feeling so overwhelmed, which in turn has improved my well-being. I also love that I can share a document via OneDrive because that is also more efficient than sending separate attachments, waiting for notes to then be returned with comments as separate emails and then having to download them. A document being live saves everyone's time and workload and means I get a quicker response"

Vicky Matthews, Educational Development Advisor for LAAT

Computeam Statement

It was a pleasure working with Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust on their digital transformation project. When working with the Central Leadership Team to coordinate training sessions, it was very clear that they were mindful of staff time and workload and wanted to adopt technology solutions for the overwhelming workload being juggled in the education sector. 

The staff were very receptive and open to embracing digital solutions to their workload concerns. I’m looking forward to my continued work with the Trust as we move only going further with Microsoft 365 and exploring some AI-enhanced efficiency tools as the next step on our journey!

Mandi Jackson, Education and Training Lead

Key Lessons 

 Investing the time and energy into a full staff training programme is key to unlocking the potential of your technology investment.

 Effective staff training is not a one-off event, but a continuous process that requires regular feedback, evaluation and follow-up.

 Having key targets and goals in your digital transformation plan – for example, workload efficiency can make CPD time valuable to staff in their roles.

• Digital transformation is about adopting new tools and platforms while also changing the culture and mindset of the organisation and its stakeholders.

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